Hydrochloric acid, is essential for digestion and is an inorganic acidic compound excreted by the stomach. Stomach acid is required for the first digestive step, which if not completed properly can result in digestive problems all the way through the digestive tract. HCL levels decrease with age and in many cases need supplementation. A none invasive way to find out if your HCL levels are depleted is through Kinesiology tests, often available through a Chiropractor, or being tested with a Bio-meridian or other computer based assessment program. Both are quite accurate and will help clarify your HCL requirements.